Mary Ann Herrington wins Associated Press award

OBSERVER Photo Mary Ann Herrington is pictured with her 2016 New York State Associated Press Award.

OBSERVER Staff Report

An OBSERVER article has been selected as a winning entry by the New York State Associated Press.

Mary Ann Herrington, an OBSERVER correspondent and columnist, won third place in the 2016 New York State Associated Press Association contest in the arts/entertainment writing category for the article “Dunkirk Was 20-Year Home to Three Dog Night Singer,” profiling Cory Wells. She competed in the under 15,000 circulation category.

“We are honored to have the Associated Press recognize Mary Ann Herrington’s wonderful feature,” said OBSERVER Managing Editor Gregory Bacon. “Cory Wells avoided the limelight locally. Her article gave us some insight into the man behind the music.”

A Buffalo native, Wells settled in Dunkirk for the last 20 years of his life. The article was published about a year after his death.

When reviewing Herrington’s article, the Associated Press judges wrote, “Solid and fascinating story on a public figure who remained private and ordinary much of his life. Good writing.”

This is the third writing award for Herrington. In 2009 she won a third place Associated Press award, also in arts/entertainment writing, for a feature on Henry B. “Toby” Halicki. He was a producer, director, writer and actor from Dunkirk, who was most well known for the 1974 movie “Gone in 60 Seconds” which he wrote, produced, directed, starred in and distributed.

In 2007, Herrington won the New York News Publishers Association’s” Distinguished Column Writing Award of Excellence” for her column “Losing faith, one blow at a time” about the closing of St. Hyacinth’s School.

Going back to 2000, Herrington is the only member of the OBSERVER to win multiple writing awards.

Herrington worked full-time at the OBSERVER until 2015, retiring after 28 years with the newspaper. She still writes the OBSERVER’s retrospective column and occasionally writes features as well. She is the mother of Roxie Herrington and the wife of the late Frank Herrington.

Since 2000, the OBSERVER has won 12 Associated Press awards and five New York News Publisher Awards. Of the 17 awards, seven are for article writing. Other awards were for headline writing and pagination.

This year’s New York News Publisher Award winners have not yet been announced.